Santa Junju who is said to have died after police officers from Kizurini station in Kilifi assaulted him on January 11, 2023. PHOTO/COURTESY

By Juma Mboko

A family in Kilifi has called for speedy probe into the death of their kin, a palm wine tapper, who succumbed while in police custody.

Eye witnesses say four unknown men, two armed and in police uniform, accosted Santa Junju, who was living with a disability, while at a friend’s child birthday party in Kizurini on January 11 and started beating him up.

The officers from a local station strangled the man with his tie and when those present complained, they allegedly took him a distance away and continued beating him up.

They would later carry the father of three away on a motorcycle to Kizurini police station after the around 4:15PM incident.

According to Daily Nation, a relative Wilfred Mutengo was the following day during a visit to the station informed that Junju had died.

The officers allegedly told the relative that the deceased had been arrested for assaulting one of them and that he committed suicide while in police cell.

The officers claimed that Junju was rushed to Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital on the morning of January 12.

An autopsy report indicated that the man died from asphyxia, a condition caused by deprived oxygen in the body.

“His left shoulder was bruised and his brain congested. The cause of death was asphyxia due to hanging,” the report read in part.

The family want thorough probe into the killing to establish how their loved one lost his life.

Among the issues they want answers for is why they were informed of the man’s death hours later and the choice to take him to a hospital in Mombasa while there were local nearby health facilities.

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